Earlier this year, Nordest launched their affordable Albarda titanium gravel bike, but is stepping up to more adventure capability with this newest gearbox-driven model – the Candonga Ti. Meant to extend your trip to the end of the world and back, the new Candonga gets all of the features you need in a 650b/700c capable titanium gravel bike, now with a 12-speed Pinion C1.12 gearbox and the option for a rigid carbon or Lauf carbon suspension fork.

Nordest Candonga Ti titanium Pinion adventure gravel bike

Named from slang for smuggling food, the new Candonga essentially takes the proven Nordest Albarda gravel bike (available in steel or titanium) and takes it to the next level with a Pinion gearbox drivetrain and the option for either a chain drive or Gate belt drive setup.

Like Nordest’s other relatively affordable ti bikes, the Candonga Ti is designed in Spain by Pedro Jerónimo (who also goes more custom under the Jerónimo Cycles brand). The new bike is then welded from double-butted Ti3Al2.5V titanium tubing in Asia.

Tech details

Nordest Candonga Ti gravel bike, titanium Pinion gearbox bikepacking adventure gravel road bike

The Candonga T is built to clear the same 650b x 2.1″ tires or up to 700c x 50mm. The frame features fully external routing, post mount rear brake, rear rack & fender mounts & a 27.2mm seatpost.

Nordest Albarda Ti affordable titanium all-road adventure gravel bike geometry

Design geometry for the Pinion-powered bike is identical to the Albarda, with short 420mm chainstays, deep 85mm BB drop, and slack 70° head angle for all-terrain stability. The Candonga comes in the same four stock frame sizes (or custom geo for a just 150€ extra.)


Nordest Candonga Ti gravel bike, titanium Pinion gearbox bikepacking adventure gravel road bike

Nordest offers the Candonga Ti only as frame-only or a frame kit with forks, yet both include the Pinion C1.12 gearbox. The bike is actually available in two dropout options – either a fixed position thru-axle for use with a chain & Pinion’s tensioner mounted at the gearbox, or a Gate-ready version that uses a sliding dropout with a split at the seatstay to insert a belt drive.

Shifters are not included. Nordest recommends the Cinq Shift:R setup for drop bar builds (as we recently saw on Cinq’s own steel frame brand Tout Terrain).

Nordest Candonga Ti gravel bike, titanium Pinion gearbox bikepacking adventure gravel road bike

The frame uses a straight 44mm headtube which allows for a tapered headset and gives them the option to spec a Lauf Grit suspension fork, or their own 12mm thru-axle Albarda carbon fork with fender (but not rack or anything cage) mounting.

Nordest Candonga Ti gravel bike, titanium Pinion gearbox bikepacking adventure gravel road bike

The stock Candonga Ti frame with the gearbox & seatpost clamp sells for 2650€, with a claimed weight of 4970g including the gearbox. Add in the Albarda carbon fork and a kit including a Chris King headset comes to 3000€, or up to 3580€ with the raw finish, 30mm travel Lauf Grit fork. The Candonga Ti is made-to-order, so expect a lead time of approximately eight weeks.



    • I had the same question but apparently it’s an option that Pinion sells.


      I guess it works fine, but surely sliding dropouts as you say would be better. The article says the gates bike has sliding dropouts, so it’s not like it’s beyond current human technology.

  1. I’m pretty sure I’d take a chain tensioner over sliding dropouts or an eccentric BB any day. Preferably one that attaches to the derailleur hanger.

  2. Whoa- I’ll chime in along w/ the rest. That tensioner is hard on my eyes.
    There are ample ways to take up some chain slack and I’m sure the builders have their reasons but, that one aspect makes it a no.
    But heck- add that fork, then the pinion? Hell, why not bolt on something else?

    I’d be curious to see photos of it built, perhaps the device gets camouflaged by the drivetrain.

  3. Did anyone actually read the article or look at the bike’s specs on the Nordest website? There is a sliding dropout option. This is needed especially since there is a belt version of the frame.

  4. Lauf needs a third heavier spring rate. It might not make sense to their scientific or formulaic approach to design. But there’s a whole commuter/touring/comfort market being neglected.

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